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Cable Companies' Disastrous 2015 Continues as Showtime Announces Plans for a Standalone Streaming Service

By Brian Byrd | Trade News | March 11, 2015 | Comments ()

By Brian Byrd | Trade News | March 11, 2015 |


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Our country’s most beloved businesses — cable and internet providers — haven’t had much to celebrate so far this year. Sucks for them. Great for everyone who purchases their (often shitty) products. Not since Pulp Fiction’s gimp scene have Americans been this excited to see someone take it in ass. Don’t quibble with my use of nouns. Corporations are people. BY LAW! So they can be sodomized just like Marcellus Wallace.
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Whoa. Sorry Marcellus.

Anyway, in January, the FCC redefined broadband Internet to mean service with minimum download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps. Long story short, your Internet will probably get faster in the very near future. Four weeks later the FCC delivered another roundhouse kick to the industry’s jaw by ruling in favor of net neutrality. Among other things, the FCC’s decision forbids the creation of Internet “fast lanes” and prohibits service throttling, two items very much desired by Internet Service Providers (who are almost always your cable company)

March hasn’t been much better for Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner and their slimy ilk. On Monday, HBO and Apple announced a partnership to bring the premium network’s content to consumers without a cable subscription. Today, CBS president Les Moonves told investors at Deutsche Bank Securities 2015 Media, Internet and Telecom Conference that Showtime will also launch a standalone streaming service “in the not-too-distant future.”

“I don’t think there’s any way, shape, or form for anybody to look at [HBO Now] other than as a major positive for premium cable,” Moonves said.

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Showtime isn’t the most prestigious or culturally dominant premium cable channel, but it’s cultivated a formidable lineup in recent years. Stalwarts like Homeland, Shameless, The Affair, Masters of Sex and upcoming dramas like Billions (starring Paul Giamatti and Homeland alum Damian Lewis), Halo and the Twin Peaks reboot/return are more than enough to justify the expense for most television watchers.

As for what that expense will entail? TBD. Pricing, distribution and availability details aren’t available at this time. A Showtime representative told Entertainment Weekly that “the demand for our service has never been stronger. We are currently in discussions with both traditional and internet distributors and are following our own strategic plan. We will have additional news soon.”

I think I speak for everyone when I say: HURRY UP!


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